The Norwegian American Football Federation has announced that it has officially cancelled the 2020 season.
The NAIF had planned to hold a season and was the first federation to officially move their season to the fall. Normally the men’s football season in Norway starts in April and ends in late June. Like the rest of Europe, the Norwegian youth and U19 seasons are played in both summer and fall. The schedule had been slated to start August 15.
Statement from the federation:
“It has been a challenging period for our sports, as it has been for the rest of the community, and now unfortunately we have to report that we have had to cancel this year’s senior series. We have had a continuous dialogue with our senior clubs, prepared several alternative layouts to be able to complete the series, but based on Friday’s press conference, it is no longer possible for us to provide a series offer for senior this year.
“We are working now need to map out what we can and cannot do within current rules, and we are planning tournaments and camps throughout the fall that will be able to be implemented under the rules of infection that are applicable. We will return with information about alternative activity and offers when this is ready.”
The Oslo Vikings, defending Norwegian champions, had been holding workouts since early June and head coach Derek Mann had been hopeful for a season. He was disappointed but understood:
“It is very sad but understandable news we received today from the Norwegian American football federation. I know a lot of players were really hoping to be able to salvage some sort of season this year in Norway. With the attempt to move the season from the Spring to the Fall, there was a glimmer of hope. Both our coaches and players were clinging to that hope. Now it has been officially canceled and it is time to move on to focusing on coming back for 2021.
It’s a difficult pill to swallow, especially when the other three Nordic countries are starting or have started their seasons. The Norwegian government and health authorities have taken all the precautions to reduce the spread of the virus in Norway. Looking out for the health and well-being of it population is something you can’t be mad about. Health and safety come first. I know my guys are disappointed there will be no football this year but we just have to move forward.”
Coronavirus situation in Norway
There have been a total of 9.638 cases of the coronavirus reported in Norway with 256 deaths attributed to the virus. Following a rise in positive COVID-19 tests over the last two weeks, the Norwegian government has extended its emergency measures and introduced some new restrictions.
The maximum limit of 200 people at events is to be retained, as will the ban on grass-roots sports. There is also a new a nationwide ban on alcohol serving after midnight in bars and pubs until further notice.